The North Judson-San Pierre School Board last night unanimously approved staffing cuts aimed at “right sizing” the corporation. Interim Superintendent Dr. Bob Boyd says the reductions affect a total of 24 employees.
“It’s a termination of seven certified employees, an adjustment in contract for three certified employees, and a termination in employment for 14 non-certified personnel, for a total of 24,” he said. “It’s not been an easy decision to come to these names. I must applaud our administrators for their hard work and due diligence they spent to get to this point.”
The reductions will be effective at the end of the school year. Boyd says a list of names will be provided to the media by the end of the week, after the individual are formally notified of the board’s decision.
School Board President Pat Goin says the board took the task seriously. She says it’s never easy to reduce or terminate anyone’s position, especially longtime employees. She adds the cuts are sad but necessary.
Boyd took over as interim superintendent in January, following Superintendent Lynn Johnson’s resignation late last year. He says many of the affected employees came to see him after they received initial notifications of the proposed reductions. Boyd says it really hit home with him that “we are reducing the force of a lot of outstanding people.”
Next Boyd says the board will look at further personnel reductions to kitchen and custodial staff as well as savings on utilities at the middle school. He says the corporation hopes to save a total of $1.25 million from all sources as part of the “right sizing.” That’s the term he’s used to describe the 40-percent cuts, which are being made to reflect declines in enrollment over the past decade.
Boyd adds the full savings will not be realized in 2016, since it is the middle of a budget year. He says the corporation will realize about half of the savings this year and a full year in 2017. That brings the total anticipated savings to $1.8 million over 18 months.
Voters who live within the school district rejected a general fund property tax referendum last November that would have provided a cash infusion to the school corporation. Goin says another option under consideration is closing the central office building to save money. She says the board has “explored every avenue.” No decision has been made yet on the fate of the building.
Boyd adds one of the best recommendations that came out of the March 1st town hall meeting was that the corporation develop a marketing plan. He says it’s “on the horizon.” The suggestion was also made last night that information needs to be gathered about why students are leaving the corporation. No formal action was taken on that suggestion.